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Annual Halloween expenditure in the United States amounts to approximately $9.1 billion. That being said, the celebration isn’t just for families anymore. More and more employers are giving their workers a chance to get spooky for the festivities by planning a Halloween-themed party or event. And while it’s relatively simple to put together a memorable Halloween party for your hard-working employees, there are some legal and ethical matters that need to be taken into account to ensure the protection of the company and the wellbeing of your employees. Here are just a few top tips to consider when planning the picture-perfect office Halloween party.
Set a Budget
A last-minute party probably doesn’t have a huge budget, but regardless of how long you have to plan, financial limits should still be established. Bankruptcies in the U.S. increased to 25,227 companies in the second quarter of 2016, and many smaller businesses may need to be more diligent when allocating their limited funds to employee engagement opportunities. It’s typically best not to request that employees use their own funds for any office Halloween events, since it may have a negative impact on overall culture. These events should be solely sponsored by the employer.
Consider Personal Beliefs
With approximately 43.3 million foreign-born residents, there’s no denying the vast melting pot that has become the United States. There are all sorts of belief systems out there, and many people consider Halloween to be a religious holiday. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to communicate to employees that participation in Halloween events is entirely voluntary. You should also be prepared and have a plan if an employee requests the day off for religious purposes.
“Halloween started as a Christian holiday known as All Saints Day or All Hallows. Some employees might still view Halloween as a religious holiday and request time off to observe the day, so consider how you would respond to such requests. However, keep in mind that if you compensate employees who participate in the festivities, you will also need to compensate employees who choose not to participate,” writes Suzanne Lucas on Inc.
Gather Employee Feedback
Even if you are planning Halloween festivities at the last minute, it doesn’t mean employees can’t have a say. Opt to send out a quick survey to gather feedback about which activities your employees would like to participate in the most. Pumpkin carving and a costume contest are both great options, but if you’re looking to get out of the office for a few hours, consider going to see a movie as a group, or even taking a haunted hayride.
Don’t Neglect Engagement
Finally, as these activities are happening, make sure to take advantage of any photo-ops or shareable moments that you see. According to data from Benedict Evans, people share 730 billion photos per year on Facebook and around 22 billion per year on Instagram, and sharing photos from your Halloween events on your business’s Facebook page often helps to foster a sense of togetherness between current employees. Furthermore, those who follow your business on social media may become interesting in becoming an employee. At the very least, your business can boost its social media reputation by showing that you care about your employees’ job satisfaction and workplace culture as a whole.
Ultimately, there are countless ways to celebrate Halloween with your hard-working employees. As long as you’re mindful of workers’ beliefs and cultures, you can use this special day to boost worker happiness and engagement as a whole.